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Putting On The Brakes: Who Pays for Car Accident Injuries?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2016 | Car Accidents |

You are sitting at a red light waiting for it to turn green and … BANG! You have just been rear-ended by another vehicle. The back of your skull hits the head rest, the airbags deploy, and you are in shock. The driver who hit you gets out of his car, says he is sorry, and asks if you are alright. Six months later, you have thousands of dollars of medical expenses, lost wages, and lingering injuries. Who should pay for these damages? Some of the answers may surprise you. When you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the first entity to pay your medical expenses is not the person who hit you or his car insurance company. It is actually YOUR car insurance company. In Kentucky and many other states, we have car insurance coverage called personal injury protection (PIP), commonly known as “no-fault benefits.” In some states, this coverage is referred to as “Medical Payment” or “Med Pay.” In Kentucky, your car insurance coverage will pay up to $10,000 for your medical expenses and lost wages. This coverage ensures that when you are injured in an accident, you can receive the medical treatment you need before having to prove who was at fault for the accident. However, when the accident is caused by another driver, your car insurance provider will be reimbursed by the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the $10,000 in PIP benefits are exhausted, you will need to pay for the remainder of your medical treatments yourself or use your personal health insurance coverage. Despite the fact that the other driver caused the accident, you are still responsible for your own medical bills. Why? The other driver only owes a duty to you, not your doctors. In other words, the driver only owes you money. When you receive a settlement from the other driver or if a jury orders the other driver to pay you, part of that amount is designed to give you money to pay your medical bills or reimburse your health insurance company. Finally, if you receive all the money you can from the other driver or his insurance company and that is not enough to cover all of your damages, the next place you would turn to for additional funds is your own insurance company. If you have underinsured motorists coverage (UIM), you can make a claim with your own car insurance company for the damages that were not paid for by the at-fault party. If you have been injured in a car accident in Kentucky, contact Edwards & Kautz Law Firm at 270-908-4914 to schedule a free legal consultation.